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  • Elegy for My Grandmother’s Hip
  • Christos Kalli (bio)

My Grandmother’s hip has broken       by the wind, again.

Like rainwater on the ground,   she has pooled the pavement of the Cypriot stonehouse she stoned herself. Next to her black hair, white tulips everywhere, pushed  out of the earth.

Beneath her loud, Cypriot screams,       she mutters quietly the grief of her life. The wind-broken hip reminds 1974, when they didn’t want the fire in their village, unless it burned through the hunger           or the cold.

When she left north, the village         a fire.

Hunger and cold      buried in their knitted backpacks. With each curse, another word spits out, in demotic Cypriot.     Now about demons, green lines, children,      mothers, mothers’ mothers, gunfire, Turks.

  Words that bricked a house on her lips.   Soil. Horizon. Root. Grandma, what about the fire you shouldered from your village? What about     a breath?      Pick up the red tulips beside you —      pluck them into the earth, again.   Take my hand.    Thumb my lips.      Teach me how to move them [End Page 8]   with passion and pain, to mutter words like   you spoke: Soil. Horizon. Root.   Teach me how to build a nest.   Teach me how to be — the wind, the rain, the fire, the ground, like you. [End Page 9]

Christos Kalli

Christos Kalli, born in Larnaca, Cyprus, is currently studying for his undergraduate degree in English literature at the University of Glasgow. His most recent poems can be found or are forthcoming in the American Journal of Poetry, the Adroit Journal, the minnesota review, Oxford Magazine, the Maine Review, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, and Hobart, among others. He is currently a poetry reader for the Adroit Journal and is one of the reviewers of Carillon Magazine.



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pp. 8-9
Launched on MUSE
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